Kit Preview : 1/76 MMS Panzer IV G
About the manufacturer
MMS is the leading 1/76 white metal model brand. The quality of casting and level of detail are comparable to traditional plastic kits, albeit without etched metal detailing. Smaller details such as mirrors are often omitted , and the running gear of tracked vehicles is usually a simplified one piece casting where the guide teeth are backed by a solid metal strengthening strip.
Due to the tight packaging in unprotected plastic bags, parts often come bent or one might say, with pre-built battle damage. Care must be taken to straighten things out lest parts be broken. Most MMS models I have seen are accurate, the only exception being the Shermans which have too short tracks, too much ground clearance and a too short transmission cover.
About the vehicle
The Panzer IV G is an evolution of the Panzer IV F2. Visible changes include the elimination of vision slits on the turret side and right turret front and a new muzzle brake. Later models were equipped with the longer L/48 7.5cm gun, side skirts and an extra plate of bolted on front hull armor. The very late G models received new sprocket and idler wheels and a repositioned antenna. 1687 were produced between May 1942 and June 1943. They were used on the Eastern Front and in Tunisia.
The Wikipedia entry on the Panzer IV is a good place to start if you want to learn more.
About the kit
This is a typical MMS tank kit. The track/wheel assembly is one piece with the guide teeth backed by a continuous strip of metal. I find this to be acceptable as it is hardly seen behind a dark wash. The idler wheels are molded solid and will need drilling out. The sprocket wheels need to be glued on. Contrary to the MMS Panzer III kits, there is molded suspension detail on the hull.
The F, G and late G turrets side by side. The hulls are identical.The G turret lacks the loader's vision port. The late G turret also has the pistol ports deleted, aside from the very obvious schuerzen.
Overall a very nice kit. Highly recommended.